Vacant Light Heavyweight Gold at Stake Friday in Atlantic City
It’s been a long year of MMA but we’re finally nearing the end of it. This third weekend of December is a big one for championships, with both CFFC and the UFC offering up four belts between Friday and Saturday nights as it stands right now.
The coast-to-coast trek of competitive violence begins on Friday when CFFC returns to Atlantic City for its final fight night of 2023. Hard Rock Hotel and Casino plays host to CFFC 128.
Live coverage of the card begins with the prelims at 7 pm ET/ 4 pm PT on the promotion’s OnlyFans feed. Main card action follows at 9 pm ET/ 6 pm PT on UFC Fight Pass.
Title Fight Twin-Bill Kicks Off with Light Heavyweight Scrap
Barring any unforeseen cancellations between now and Friday evening, the final version of CFFC 128 features a full 12-fight slate. Two championship fights cap off the night’s activities, beginning with the CFFC 128 co-main event.
In the co-headlining attraction, the vacant CFFC Light Heavyweight Championship is up for grabs between undefeated Luke Fernandez (2-0 MMA, 2-0 CFFC) and Peter New (4-2 MMA, CFFC promotional debut.) As is customary with CFFC title fights, the CFFC 128 co-main event is an advertised maximum of four rounds at five minutes per round.
If the scorecards are level after 20 minutes of action, the fight progresses to a fifth and final round to break the deadlock. The winner of this co-main event will become the fourth different man to hold the 205-lb. strap after Mike Rhodes relinquished the belt a few years ago.
Does the Hard Rock know what’s coming???#CFFC128 is BACK with one of the biggest cards in promotional history! pic.twitter.com/t2oTkl8cVu
— UFC FIGHT PASS (@UFCFightPass) December 11, 2023
CFFC 128 Co-Main Event Fighter Comparison
Heading into the CFFC 128 co-main event on Friday night, Peter New stands as the taller man at 6-foot-2, compared to Luke Fernandez’ frame of six feet even. No reach advantage information was accessible online at press time.
Ordinarily, at this point in the breakdown, we would mention who has the edge on the money line as per the oddsmakers, but no betting odds have been released as of Monday afternoon. If you plan on betting on this or any other fight happening this weekend, please wager responsibly.
Luke Fernandez Looking to Cap Busy 2023 With Championship in CFFC 128 Co-Main Event
Luke Fernandez has gone undefeated so far in his MMA career, including amateur fights, at 8-0. He’s spent the entirety of it under the CFFC promotional banner, dating back to Oct. 30, 2020.
Fernandez, who just turned professional on March 31, most recently scored a first-round knockout of Jesse Romans (1-1 MMA, 0-1 CFFC) on June 16 during CFFC 120 on Fight Pass. A few weeks ago, Fernandez talked to Cageside Press. He knows the stakes are high on Friday night.
“When it comes to camp, we just know that this is a huge opportunity when it comes to a title fight,” Fernandez began. “So, we’re just pushing the limits in the sense of extra work, extra rounds, crossing our T’s, dotting our I’s, making sure my recovery’s on point, making sure my technique’s on point. I’m not taking anything lightly, so, it’s one of those things. Camp is just going how it should be and that’s just dialed the (expletive deleted) in.”
One more stat for you to consider: Since joining CFFC as an amateur a little more than three years ago, Fernandez has yet to have the scorecards factor into a win. Will he be able to get a ninth straight finish in the CFFC 128 co-main event?
Peter New Moves Down From 265 for Title Bid
In the other corner, Peter New has gone 3-2 in his last five fights. Unlike Fernandez, New has had a fair amount of downtime in 2023.
You’d have to go back to the beginning of the year to find his last contest. On Jan. 7, he scored a third-round knockout (referee’s stoppage: strikes) of Cameron Graham (6-14 MMA) in Dothan Fight Night 1 from Cottonwood, AL in a heavyweight fight.
This is a fight between two contestants at the opposite end of the spectrum as it relates to activity and preparation. While Fernandez will fight for the third time in under nine months, New will enter having come out of a layoff of nearly 49 weeks. Add to it the fact that he’s had to cut weight for the contest and this is going to be a tough affair for him.
There’s an obvious question to be asked next: How much ring rust does Peter New have and what kind of training camp has he gone through? It’s never easy to have to fight again after such a long window of inactivity, so only time will tell if he can come away with the victory.
Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction
Stylistically, the CFFC 128 co-main event looks to favor Luke Fernandez, a wrestler and boxer, compared to Peter New’s status as a Muay-Thai fighter and kickboxer.
Luke Fernandez Can Get to Work in a Hurry
Luke Fernandez isn’t one to mess around while he’s in the cage. As previously stated, he’s won all of his fights under the CFFC banner by stoppage, including his last one against Jesse Romans in June.
Right from the opening bell, Fernandez started teeing off with a barrage of strikes. Romans had no idea what hit him, getting knocked down within seconds.
This fight was a classic case of one-way traffic, punctuated by a slam from Fernandez to set up another flurry of shots to end the fight with an exclamation point. If Luke Fernandez can come out with a surge of offence, this baby’s over before the end of the first round.
New Can Lock Up Submissions
In the other corner, don’t let Peter New’s prowess as a stand-up fighter fool you, because he can take anybody to the mat and get the W on the ground. His first pro fight in B2 Fighting Series versus Travis Murchison was proof of that.
During the first round of a scheduled three, New dumped Murchison and took top mount right away, scoring with ground and pound shots to soften him up. From there, New quickly applied the torque to secure the rear-naked choke in just one minute and 15 seconds.
All Peter New needs to score the victory is to land as little as one takedown. He’ll let his grappling write the rest of the story from there.
This CFFC 128 co-main event is a fight over four years in the making. Not since November of 2019 has the promotion offered up its light heavyweight championship, so this is one you can’t miss on Friday night.
Prediction: Luke Fernandez by First-Round Knockout